The complex Messinian layer in the Egypt Nile Delta poses a serious challenge to the building of an accurate velocity model and to the imaging of structures that lie below this interval that consists of interleaved anhydrite, shale and other facies. Conventional prestack velocity analysis, depth imaging and tomography provide only a limited solution to this complex velocity modeling and imaging problem. While the recent acquisition of multi azimuth data over this area aimed to address both the imaging and illumination below the anhydrite, building a reliable velocity model for prestack depth migration still remains a challenge. Here we present a novel approach to model these complex Messinian anhydrite layers interleaved with other thin sediments directly from seismic data using a binary style velocity modeling approach. The method is based on exploiting the distinct seismic character of anhydrite and estimating it directly from inverted section of an optimized migrated stack. Application of this procedure to data from Egypt Nile Delta shows that the technique can provide a reliable high resolution starting velocity model that can be further improved by iterative migration velocity analysis.


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